The City of Independence today announced that it will plan to begin the first phase of its reopening plan for City services and facilities on June 1. The first phase will last approximately 4 weeks and movement into subsequent phases will depend on regional COVID-19 case numbers.
“Protecting the health of our citizens and clear communication with employees, residents, and businesses are my top priorities,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “This first phase will show us if our measures to manage the virus in our area are truly effective. We will be taking a variety of precautions from temperature and health checks upon entering City buildings, to social distancing outlines and appointment only visits for many of our programs. As this is a new experience for us all, we ask that our residents and business community partners exercise vigilance as we gradually reintroduce services. This includes social distancing, avoiding non-essential activities, and frequent hand-washing to protect those for whom the virus is most fatal.”
These City Facilities will be open beginning June 1 with modified hours - City Hall, the Independence Police Headquarters, and the Independence Utility Center. Guests and staff will be required to participate in a temperature check and basic health screening prior to entrance. Those individuals found to have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to complete their business online or via phone calls or digital meetings. City facilities will be open three days a week, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
You can find a full overview of the Phases as well as anticipated timelines associated with them here. It is important to keep in mind that the timelines and guidelines may change as conditions warrant.
Below is a summary of the service changes that will be implemented in Phase 1:
Animal Services: The Regional Animal Shelter will be open for adoptions by appointment only, one guest/family at a time. To set-up an appointment, please call (816) 325-7207.
Community Development: Two windows will be open in the second floor lobby of City Hall. One window will be for payments and the other for information. These windows will be located at opposite ends of counter with a temporary barrier to protect staff and visitors.
Municipal Courts: In-person court dates resume June 2. Individuals wishing to pay for municipal tickets or speak to Municipal Court Staff will be able to do so with access to every other window and social distancing marks on the floor.
Parks | Recreation | Tourism: The Roger T. Sermon Community Center, Truman Memorial Building, Palmer Center, National Frontier Trails Museum, the Uptown Market, the Vaile Mansion and the Bingham-Waggoner Estate will remain closed until July 1.
Police Department: The lobby of Police Headquarters will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, with access to every other window and marks on floors for social distancing. Once social distancing capacity has been met inside the building, individuals will be asked to wait outside.
Independence Utilities Customer Service: The Customer Service windows will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, with access to every other window and social distancing marks on the floors with guidance for any lines that may form. The drive-thru will also be opened during these hours. Cash payments will be accepted at the windows and through the drive-thru.
Utility bill payments: Utility shut-offs will remain suspended and no late fees or credit card processing fees will be charged until further notice. Customers are encouraged to keep current on utility bills to the extent they are able. For information on assistance programs and resources in our area, please visit cslc19.org/help.
Volunteers: While volunteers play an important role in many departments, volunteer programs have been suspended until further notices with the exception of the Medical Reserve Corps which is overseen by the Emergency Management Division of the Fire Department. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the community outside of the City Departments which can be found on the COVID-19 website at indep.us/coronavirus.
Below is an overview of venues that will be opening across the City including, Community Ice Rink, tennis courts, etc.
Tennis and Pickleball Courts: Will reopen to the public on June 1 for singles play only.
Skate park: Will reopen on June 1.
Independence Community Ice: Will reopen on June 1 with modified operations. Look for details to come.
Park Shelters: Park Shelters will open for rentals no earlier than June 1. Patrons using these facilities are strongly encouraged to bring their own cleaning supplies to sanitize surfaces before using picnic tables and gathering guidelines outlined by Jackson County should be followed.
Playgrounds, basketball courts, and ball fields will remain closed through Phase 1.
You can find the Jackson County reopening phases which address individual businesses, events, gatherings, etc., here.
For the latest updates on changes to services, closings and cancellations in the City of Independence related to COVID-19, please visit indep.us/coronavirus. All citizens are also encouraged to follow the City on Facebook at facebook.com/CityofIndependence, Twitter @CItyofIndepMo, and Nextdoor for updates on this changing situation. Citizens are encouraged to share questions not addressed with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the call center at (816) 325-7033.